The Funniest Podcast About Social Media
That Helps You Grow Your Business

Instagram Insights with Jenn Herman – Ep.10

It is no longer surprising to anyone that photos are being shared with friends and strangers all over the world, all through the miraculous technology that is the internet. Smartphones and cameras enable their owners to take pictures and instantly post them on various webpages. With this interactivity, and just a little bit of narcissism, you can channel these photographic skills into a social media marketing technique that will be fresh and unique – unlike anything you’ve done before.

Jenn Herman

The premier photo sharing website to date is Instagram. It allows users to upload their photography with searchable hashtags, filters to make the photography look professional, and even Cinema, a camera stabilization feature. It has recently developed into a video sharing site as well, allowing users to loop twelve second videos.

Instagram, to the average businessperson, sounds like a “cute idea,” or a nice way for people to display their hobby. But used correctly, as Jenn Herman (http://jennstrends.wordpress.com/) explained on this week’s Social Media Unscrambled, it can be an innovative way to share your product and ideas.

Jenn originally thought that Instagram was kind of a waste of time. She could take and publish her own photography – she was already an avid photographer. She didn’t need to see everyone’s picture of their latest outfit or favorite recipe. But when she became more deeply involved in social media marketing, and started a blog to help others understand social media trends, applications, and benefits, she realized how much Instagram had to offer to her and her readers. She created her own Instagram handle – jennherman31.

When Jenn works with clients, her purpose is to enable them to use social media – correctly. While most business people know that social media is the way to go, they don’t realize the best procedure, policies, and platforms for them. For a while, Instagram fit into a category of seldom used social media practices. However, she now advocates the fun and creative outlet.

Instagram is a photo sharing version of Twitter; a user can constantly post their pictures in real time. Both smartphone owners and digital camera users have the opportunity to upload and edit photography. The feed containing the instant photographs is updated constantly for fresh content. While posting, the photographer can also use a hashtag to label the picture, in order for people to find, like, and share the photograph even after the feed has extended past that time period.

Instagram is comparable with a tweet or Facebook text post in many ways; it shares a concise message of an idea or product that can create conversation and interaction. However, it is also very different; Instagram is meant to be fun. It is meant to be creative in a different way from text posts, even ones with catchy slogans and puns. Pictures, such as those published through Instagram, change the type of interaction that a business can have with its consumers, and enables a more behind-the-scenes look. Clients enjoy an exclusivity factor that a picture can provide – an update on a product, a window into the factory or studio, and an insight to who the producers truly are. Instagram, put simply, is a fun and different way to share content that will make clients feel that they have an extra place.

about-jenn

Instagram is similar to and can be connected with other social media features, especially Facebook. Similar to Facebook, you can find users and photography by searching, or in this case, using the “explore” button. However, Instagram does not have EdgeRank (a fancy Facebook algorithm), so it allows literally anything to come up in the feed, and even allows for more visibility than Facebook posts.

To clarify, Facebook’s EdgeRank determines whether or not certain posts come up in a user’s feed. When a fan interacts with your page, it gives your page a higher ranking to them. The algorithm determines which of your posts to display to them based on when they are online, their other preferences, and many other factors. This can be frustrating to page moderators, since some fans will not see the content.

Jenn gave some great advice on helping your Facebook page get more views and avoid the pitfalls of EdgeRank. Facebook wants you to stay on their site, so links to external pictures, blog posts, and websites will be featured less than simple text posts. However, if you put a link to a blog post or picture, and then later post a link back to that Facebook post, it will enable more viewers to see the post. Additionally, because Instagram is owned by Facebook, Facebook’s EdgeRank will publish Instagram photo links more prominently than links to photos on other photo viewing platforms.

With Instagram, Jenn has informed us that you can allow your customers to see the real you, behind your product or business. It’s a great way to engage, no matter what you are selling. However, make sure to use it appropriately and correctly – yes, Anthony Weiner, we’re looking at you! No more sexting with photos through Twitter.

Thanks for tuning in to the 10th episode of Social Media Unscrambled! As always, you can hear the podcast live on Tuesdays at 1:30 PM EST on The Fractal Stream internet radio station, or anytime on iTunes as a podcast! As hosts Chris Curran of Fractal Recording and David Deutsch of SynergiSocial depart for the month of August, they leave a final Social Media Tip of the Week.

David recommends using bitly.com in order to shorten your links. This not only leaves more room for content in your social media post, but also tracks the amount of people who click the link. This will allow you to determine what type of post is best for your viewers, as well as the social media platforms where your posts receive the most attention. Google, too, has a link shortener, but it does not track the clicks.

Once again, thanks Jenn! Keep smiling for those photographs!

 

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Email and Social Working Together, with Mike Brooks – Ep.9

They know where your inbox is. They know how to grab your attention. And they’re going to make you want their product.  It’s time that you could do the same, don’t you think?

Even with the multitude of social media sites, users must not forget the power of the email list. Email marketing continues to be a powerful tool in reaching customers, clients, friends, and networks. An email serves as a medium that practically ensures a user’s eyes on the media; while a Facebook user might never scroll to see the post of a page they Liked three years ago, the same person could check their email daily to see personal notes, news, savings, and other media.

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Email marketing is the topic of this week’s Social Media Unscrambled broadcast, with special guest Mike Brooks of Nuclear Chowder Marketing, which focuses on Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media, Email Marketing, and Integrated Online Marketing for small businesses.  Mike was able to give some great tips and insights about marketing via email, as well as other social media tools.

Mike’s background in marketing started as he set out to advertise his martial arts school in 2002. Within two years, the internet was booming, and people were flocking to Mike for help with even the simplest of tasks. By 2009, Mike was helping internet users with their marketing strategies all over the world, so he sold his share of the school and opened Nuclear Chowder Marketing, (which also has a great podcast!)

Mike explained that while some internet users are still stumped by social media sites, almost everyone has (and checks) their email. After all, in order to register on any other website, you need to enter your email address. Even if you’re not on Facebook or Google+, email is a surefire way to reach a client. After all, you’ll be reaching right into their inbox.

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Mike holds that email is not going away, and there’s still a lot of pull in using email advertising if you utilize it correctly. On many social media and internet sites, people are becoming wary. They realize that if they “Like” or “Follow” a page, they will receive tons of information that they don’t necessarily care about. In order to reach internet-wary users, there has to be something different in the email, something special, something unique. People have gotten smart; they don’t blindly enter their address into every white text-box any more.

As a business owner, you don’t want to waste your time on a program that won’t yield results. Although you might have numerous Twitter followers, the number of those who actually read your tweets every day may be fewer than you think. Facebook Likes are quick and mindless. With an email, your information is much more tangible to users, and safer for you. You know that the activity that comes from your emails will be from users who truly read and want to be a part of what you’re writing, as opposed to senseless Facebook ads. Where you put your energy, that’s where the money will come from.

The part of emailing that most miss is the importance of the “subject line.” For more examples on this, see Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich by David Garfinkel.

Mike stresses the use of word patterns, and taking people out of their comfort zone/haze. You need a title that is random and exciting, something that will make the receiver open the email.  But most folks stick with the boring standards… As Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg once stated; “if you’re not breaking something, you’re not moving fast enough.”

While there is a term, social media ninja, ninja-like abilities on social media sites are far from what you want to exercise. Social media should never be discrete or silent. Its purpose is to get in the face of a client and interest them in what you have to offer, be it on Twitter, Facebook, or in their email inbox.

Speaking of other social media sites, there has been some important news in the world of social media this week. LinkedIn Signal, which is way to search updates across LinkedIn, whether you are connected to the other users or not, is being disabled. Additionally, the blogging platform Tumblr had a security breach and advised all users to change their security passwords immediately.

These problems in the world of social media emphasize how important it is to broadcast in a way that is not only via a public forum, but reaching customers directly – by email. Additionally, other tools such as Facebook Graph search are available as ways to find and reach connections. Graph search finds information based on your Facebook network and connections, and then gives results based on your network, not just everything on the internet like Google or Bing does. What a great way to cut down to see the most relevant social media information for your business!

To quote our hosts, “This show, as you might guess from the title, is all about figuring out social media.” And that it does. Hosts Chris Curran of Fractal Recording and David Deutsch of SynergiSocial strive to create an entertaining medium for their listeners to learn about the many types of social media that can help them in their professional and personal lives. You can even reach them on email, or just tune in next week for another great guest on Social Media Unscrambled.

Thanks again to Mike Brooks, Owner of Nuclear Chowder Marketing  and Podcast Host.

 

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Integrated Marketing Ideas with Joseph Ruiz – Ep.6

Like most settlers of new spaces, there is always more to learn, especially about how to use social media effectively in a business to drive costumer communication. Social media is ever expanding and growing, and as discussed in the news portion of the show, the wrong status update can get you in serious trouble. However, social media can also be an important aspect of business strategy – if you know how to use it. To showcase someone who does, our hosts called upon the expertise of Joseph Ruiz (@SMSJOE) from Strategic Marketing Solutions.

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Joseph Ruiz – Strategic Marketing Solutions

Strategic Marketing Solutions, started in 2001, is a service marketing and consulting firm. They “create and execute integrated marketing strategies to build brand-consumer relationships that are engaging, measurable and profitable.” This means that they take all of the mountains and deserts that their customers have and pave the roads to reach new heights.

Ruiz stressed that in order to have effective social media strategies, you must have proper data, timing, and most importantly, the right message. You must know your target audience and proposition, and of course, who you want to appear as. As Deutsch and Ruiz discussed, companies no longer get to control their brands – the people do. Those who are on top of the social media world are able to make and spread messages about companies. The best thing to do in a case like this? Find out what these people are saying and move with it. New sites such as Vizify, which makes a portrait of all of a user’s social media, can help with that.

Joe Ruiz mentioned two large companies that are using social media in different, but equally effective ways – Nike and Starbucks. Nike’s integrative marketing strategy is known as #makeitcount, which focuses on the consumer as the athlete instead of a professional. This makes the social media much more local and mobile, and the people are able to experience the product and spread it to each other in a way that a simple ad would not do.

Starbucks, too, uses social media to communicate with its customers, but in a different way. Starbucks uses email, texting, phone payment, and rewards as a way to spread data and relevant information to their customers. Additionally, Walmart has a mobile app that allows the shopper to access their shopping list and receive help finding their items in the store. (!) Verizon has a twitter based costumer service, as do many others. The big businesses have the right idea. Whichever way you use social media, to get people to speak and engage or to give them correct information, doing it effectively will help a business immensely.

So how do you use social media correctly? The first thing to do is to ask the right questions; the answers will not just appear. Start exploring. You have to understand the costumer, where they want to go, and what platforms they are already using. Make a map. Then you can go into what Joe is fluent in: Integrated marketing ideas, or “how to tie everything together.” Start moving. You can measure the effectiveness by collecting data in any way that works for you; there’s no perfect way. Reflect on how far you’ve traveled.

Anyone can discover use the new foundations of social media for their business, big or small. As long as you know what you’re looking for and what you want it to do, you can keep on exploring. …Bon Voyage!

~ Naomi Barnett | July 2nd, 2013

 

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Snapchat, Zynga, Instagram, Facebook, Tom Ando – Ep.3

We discussed Snapchat and their rumored optimistic growth plans, Zynga and their $200 million dollar investment which they shut down, as well as how Tom Ando (Up The Mountain Video) leveraged his Instagram and Facebook accounts to cultivate four significant relationships. Thanks Tom! (FYI- here’s Tom’s Facebook page that was mentioned: www.facebook.com/lostinamerica66)

The show hosts started the show by explaining some recent news in the area of social media. The first was that Snapchat, a smartphone app which allows users to send photos which disappear seconds after viewing, is trying to raise $500 million for their product.   This lead into a conversation about another piece of news; the collection of metadata by the government, and a recent online leakage. Then, in the world of Facebook, it was discussed that the company Zinga, which made the popular FarmVille, slashed 18% of its workforce, closing two offices. Two weeks ago they also shut down their branch, OMGPop, which they had bought for two million not too long beforehand.

The hosts then discussed Tom Ando and his use of Instagram, before focusing on other merits and demerits of social media, which has been active in America for close to eight years. Since Tom, along with many others, is using social media correctly and effectively, many observers attempt to quantify and understand social media uses. Although social media is an important and productive way to increase business and relationships, it is not the only answer. As Jason Falls wrote on his social media blog, “The problem with trying to determine ROI for social media is you are trying to put numeric quantities around human interactions and conversations, which are not quantifiable.” The purpose of social media, as discussed on the show, is not to use social media as a life, but to use it to help aid in the possibilities that life brings. As was wisely commented on air, “social media is just like talking, no different… it can open new doors but can’t close those deals.”

This idea, which seems to be the center piece of the show, expresses the idea that Social Media Unscrambled hopes to provide. Social media is useable and malleable for any purpose, but only if one uses it correctly. For example, content, or what you post, is king. One must know their audience and not only talk about themselves, which will not keep the audience interested. As Marc Shafter stated, “content is the currency of the social web.”

The show closed with the question of if “Likes” on Facebook were still important. It was discussed that good content is not about you, you have to “give ‘em what they want.” If likes are important to a user, they will work on their content to provide likable information for their audience. However, as Tom Ando shared, the importance behind social media is doing what you love to do. He would continue to photograph around the country no matter who was watching, (but you should go pay attention, since his photographs are beautiful.) Social media allows you to do something for yourself, but then you receive the gratification when you let the rest of the world comment, like, and share later.

More on Tom Ando:

Tom Ando is no longer your typical photographer. Even though he has been in photography for his whole career, (and even crosses into video production with his company Up the Mountain Productions,) he’s taking steps to change the way people share their photography experiences. Using the social media site Instagram, which allows users to share their photography in creative ways, Tom has used his passion to forge relationships, create memories, and even market his business.

Tom’s Instagram and Facebook page, “Lost In America,” highlights his photography from the American Midwest and especially Route 66. While Tom could simply post his photography on his professional website, using social media accounts allows him to connect with other users in a way a website never could. Social media sites allow anyone from anywhere to see the work of a user, and this has allowed Tom’s “Lost in America” set to become a small, yet growing, global fanbase.

Not only does social media enable Tom to post and share his photography, but it also provides him a tool in order to communicate and create conversation with his fellow photographers and travelers. They share each other’s photos, stories, and businesses, and are therefore inclined to use their love of the road in a way which helps each other.

Tom’s use of Instagram is a perfect example of how social media can be used to aid a person or business, as Social Media Unscrambled details. Social Media Unscrambled, hosted by Chris Curran of Fractal Recording and David Deutsch of Syngergi Social, serves to explain social media events, tips, and uses in an understandable, friendly way, so that even those who have a hard time with social media are able to appreciate its uses.

—Post written by Naomi Barnett, June 11, 2013

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Increased Twitter Engagement with Dorien Morin-van Dam – Ep.2

Are you tweeting, or are you merely chirping? What are the best ways to attract Twitter followers, make your Twitter useful, and manage your feed?

In this week’s episode of Social Media Unscrambled, hosts Chris Curran and David Deutsch are joined by the intelligent and talented Dorien Morin-van Dam to discover some tips for using the microblogging platform Twitter, including Lists, Hashtags and more.

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One of Dorien’s recent popular posts is called “11 S(t)weet Tips for Increased Twitter Engagement,” and focuses on the aspect of interacting with followers. This knowledge attracted the team of Chris Curran of Fractal Recording and David Deutsch of Synergi Social to invite Dorien to Skype into their podcast, Social Media Unscrambled, which airs weekly on The Fractal Stream internet radio station on Tuesday afternoons at 1:30PM EST. Social Media Unscrambled takes Curran’s broadcasting knowledge and Deutsch’s profession of social media in order to create an interactive experience for listeners who are interested in utilizing social media in the most efficient way possible.

In the previous episode, Chris and David spoke about the benefits of Google+ and sited various social networking bloggers. In this episode, they were able to host Dorien Morin van-Dam, who brought a different voice and feel to the show, in addition to her knowledge.

Dorien Morin van-Dam is a social networking consultant who uses her own experience in order to assist friends, clients, and businesses in proper and efficient social media strategies. Since 2010, she has been the founder and moderator of MoreInMedia.com, in which she blogs and creates workshops involving social media. She focuses primarily on twitter and LinkedIn, since they are the two most commonly misused and misunderstood platforms.

Dorien currently lives and works in South Carolina, and when she started speaking on the show, the hosts were surprised to hear no Southern accent. She related her roots from the Netherlands and her move to Boston, where she met her husband and lost her accent. After the friendly jabber that makes their show enjoyable and unique, David, Chris, and Dorien started talking about the first of the eleven tips on Dorien’s twitter post.

The first tip reads, “Twitter announced an update to their lists –>You can now make up to 1,000 lists (up from 20), and each list can include up to 5,000 accounts (up from 500). Can we say ‘wow’?! If you are NOT using lists yet, get to it. We use Twitter lists for curation purposes and improved interaction!” Dorien and David focused on explaining the useful aspect of twitter list. A twitter list allows the user to group the twitters they follow into certain categories, and then when they wish to find a post or idea, they are easily able to track who it might come from, rather than scrolling through an entire feed with thousands of tweets. Business owners and those who choose to connect using social media have a tendency to have many followers and follow many others, and scrolling through an entire list of tweets can be daunting and time consuming. Users can place bloggers on many lists, and due to the new update on Twitter, lists can be even more utilized.

A few listeners wanted to know how lists were made and if they were truly manageable. Lists are made manually by the user, and are as manageable as the creator allows them to be. Lists can be either public or private, and therefore can be utilized by other twitter bloggers. Dorien explained that the most useful feature of lists is to see what is popular and being talked about by various groups.

After a lengthy discussion, the hosts move on to the second point on Dorien’s list, which is, in short, politeness on twitter. “Thank those who tweet out your content, whether it’s a re-tweet or your blog posts. Acknowledgment can lead to great conversations and those can lead to meaningful connections.” Showing a follower that you appreciate them can start a lasting relationship which will make great business connections and partnerships in the future. And it’s as easy as typing “thank you,” or an original variation of that.

The third bullet that was discussed on the show had to do with the hashtag. The hosts explained what a hashtag was and its usefulness for the twitter user. “Twitter chats are a fun way to make new connections on Twitter. A chat happens when a group of people tweet about the same topic using a hashtag (#). The chats are at a specific predetermined time and often repeat weekly (or bi-weekly).” While a hashtag can be very useful, the hosts of #smUnscrambled did not have enough time in the half hour show to expand upon it.

The show is growing, after only two episodes, in a way that exceeds the boundaries of a half hour, and the limits of any one social media topic. As the show draws to a close, Chris and David mention their plans for the founder of Triberr to speak in person on the show in a couple weeks, as well as their excitement for its future. They thank Dorien for speaking about her post and for sharing her useful social media knowledge – even if it was only 3 of her 11 useful tips. The only thing left to do is to go tweet about it!

The rest of Dorien’s post can be found at http://moreinmedia.com/11-stweet-tips-increased-twitter-engagement/ on her website.
Her Google+ site is bit.ly/MoreInMedia
and you can tweet her at @MoreInMedia.

Tune in next week at 1:30PM EST for the next Social Media Unscrambled and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

—Post written by Naomi Barnett, June 4th 2013

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